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Would a paid INTERVIEW ONLY, through a staffing agency, be considered a temporary assignment?

by Ryann
(Abilene, Texas)

I have been on unemployment since November 2009. I went to a staffing firm in December 2009 to help with my work search. (I had no idea they are such a pain when it comes to unemployment...never would have gone.)

The staffing firm sent me to an interview with a client. The interview was to last about 4 hours, so they said it would be paid. I went on the interview, and was not chosen for the open position. I reported the money I was paid for the interview to unemployement. Now I have lost my unemployment over $40, and the staffing agency said that I failed to report for further assignment. When was I on assignment? Will I win an appeal on the basis that I was never assigned to work for any company? HELP!


I can't help. I can only explain .. again from the top of my soapbox .. that when you work for temporary staffing agencies .. you have to be very, very careful especially if you live in a state with special "temporary worker provisions" and Texas is one of them .. because you will be seen as voluntarily quitting without good cause .. and that stop benefits if it's from subsequent work after the start of the claim.

A full list of states with these landmine provisions can be found on page 7 and 8 of this USDOL Non monetary chartbook

It's not the money you earned that disqualified you .. it's the "failure to contact the staffing agency for further assignments.

You should see if there's something to be learned from the Texas unemployment precedent manual

It's a temp agency .. short term is the nature of the work .. whether 4 hours .. or an extended period of months.

It doesn't matter what company you do the work for .. it is the staffing agency that is considered your employer.

Most provisions do require that the temp agency have you sign a paper acknowledging that a failure to contact them after an assignment ends .. will be considered a "voluntary quit" and it's backed up by unemployment statute "provisions". .. they don't have to review this with you .. so it's very important to read all the papers you sign for the staffing agency.

So, if you had contact with the staffing agency after that interview .. play it up. My recommendation is to document every call to a temp agency and even better .. use email to document your contacts .. because the protest is SOP regardless of whether someone called them or not for further assignments.

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